Dr. Kristie Ebi
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Analysis from leading researchers shows there could be significant benefits from a presidentially-led initiative focused on combatting pandemics. With the 2020 Presidential race under way, the researchers provide new evidence on the potential for a pro-active U.S. foreign policy effort to halt current pandemics, prevent new outbreaks from becoming pandemics, and address disease threats linked to climate change.   

Experts from Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, and leading non-governmental organizations detailed growing evidence that the:

  • fight against AIDS, TB, and Malaria is significantly off track;
  • likelihood of a pandemic outbreak capable of killing millions and undermining the global economy and security is high;
  • changing climate will increase the likelihood of deadly outbreaks and pandemics.

Published in the Journal of International Affairs, the analysis finds pandemics and other infectious diseases have a high cost to the global economy, and “are responsible for over 300 million DALYs lost in low- and middle-income countries, and we estimate that this costs $1.695 trillion in lost productivity.” Meanwhile, the authors show “strategic investments in a coordinated global-pandemics initiative would likely have a return ratio of between $17 and $20 on every $1 spent.”

Read the entire press release at O'Neill Institute. Kristie Ebi, Professor of Global Health, is quoted.